For Nature and Wildlife Lovers – off the beaten path in Australia

We decided to climb it. We were all alone in the bush, and we decided to climb to the top of this giant tree. It was terrifying and exciting at the same time. We both agreed that in our twenties we probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought, but it seems life gets more precious as you get older, or you just finally get it that you’re not invincible, so it felt pretty scary but we were determined to do it anyway.

Retire in AustraliaThe climb isn’t for the faint hearted. There are metal spikes hammered into the side of the tree to climb on. There are warning signs at the base of the tree advising you not to attempt the climb if you have a heart condition, and that there is nobody to help if you get into difficulties. When we arrived at a resting platform halfway up the tree there was an even bigger warning sign advising us to leave our backpacks on the platform before attempting the second half of the climb. The second half is a near vertical climb which narrows considerably. At the top is the small wooden lookout hut. It was one of the most exciting things we’ve done and the view over the forest is amazing!

Eleven miles west of Perth is Rottnest Island. To get there take the Rottnest Express from downtown Perth, or pick it up in Fremantle. The island has a laid-back atmosphere, unspoiled beaches and scenery, and unique wildlife. Rottnest is a sanctuary and no vehicles are allowed except service vehicles and the bus that goes around the island. We took the bus as far west as it goes and then walked two miles to the most western point of the island. It was a lovely sunny day and the island is absolutely gorgeous.

Retire in Australia
We saw quite a few quokkas. They are only found on Rottnest and are related to the kangaroo. They are very small hopping marsupials about the size of a large cat. When the Dutch first discovered the island they thought they were rats, very very large rats, hence the name Rottnest. We also saw six large stingrays in the shallows off the jetty, and several pelicans.

Retire in Australia
Australia is a unique and beautiful country, with much to offer in the way of stunning scenery, exotic wildlife, cosmopolitan cities, and some of the best beaches in the world. And if you get yourself a little way off the beaten path you’re sure to find some uncrowded places, and plenty of Australia’s distinctive animals and birds.

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  1. Thanks for showcasing my city Canberra. It’s a wonderful place to live and too much of a well-kept secret as a tourist destination. Most Aussies think it’s just full of politicians, when it’s really full of more interesting wildlife.

  2. My pleasure Peggy. Canberra is my Aussie hometown. We go there every time we visit Australia. I still have family there, and love the city.

  3. Hi Alison, Australia is at the top of my list and this post has made me even more determined to go. To see Koalas in the wild would just be magical. My husband and I are hoping to retire in 2017 and therefore reading your blog has been very inspiring and reassuring for me, thank you so much.

  4. Thanks so much Gilda. I definitely recommend visiting Australia, but warn it is quite expensive, and distances are huge so count on either flying between places and/or allowing lots of time for driving. We’ve done a combination of flying and road trips over the several times we’ve been there and it works well.

  5. I have just come across your & Don’s story via Nomadic Matt… I hope what I am going to say won’t sound like a cliche but reading your story brought tears of joy to my eyes… I can’t wait to go back and immerse myself in all of your adventures and wisdom and can’t wait to share the discovery of your website with my husband:).

    I’ve also just read that you and Don are planning to return to Australia & was wondering if you would be visiting Melbourne at that time? I, and am sure my husband too, would love to meet you in person. We live in Melbourne, I am 57 and Michael, my husband, is 62, we have both recently retired and are on our way to Europe (around September), for at least a year… And then – who knows… We would love to welcome you in Melbourne and get a chance to hear from you about your “nomadic” life style that both of us are becoming more & more attracted to…
    So if you and Don are happy to spend an evening with us once in Melbourne (of course, if you come here at all) that would be truly wonderful:).

    Look forward to hearing from you… Naturally, without any pressure:)…

    All the very best,

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